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[Updated] 5 Questions for Scott Conant

April 30, 2012 |  8:00 am

Scott Black Jacket.highres Scott Conant is chef-owner of Scarpetta restaurant in the Montage Beverly Hills. He's also a judge on the Food Network show "Chopped" and a host on the show "24 Hour Restaurant Battle." Conant's career began with his first cooking class at age 11. He's opened restuarants around the country and is a four-time James Beard Award nominee and two-time winner. At Scarpetta in Los Angeles, Conant's seasonally inspired Italian menu includes his signature spaghetti with tomato and basil.

What’s coming up next on your menu? We just started offering a seasonal farmers market tasting menu at Scarpetta Beverly Hills. My favorites have to be Mike’s and Son’s poached ranch egg with mushrooms, crispy potatoes, black winter truffles and Parmigiano emulsion or the ricotta cavatelli with lobster, Gloria’s Farm’s English peas and tarragon.  

Latest ingredient obsession? Being that it’s spring — it’s peas, soft shell crab, tarragon, goat’s milk ricotta — not necessarily all together in one dish!

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again in L.A.? I find myself going to Mozza repeatedly. I think Nancy’s (Silverton) mozzarella bar is genius and she’s one of the best chefs in the country. I would eat anything she cooks —that butterscotch budino is second only to heaven.

What’s your favorite breakfast? Seven-grain toast, avocado and a poached egg on top with crushed red pepper, sea salt and a touch of extra virgin olive oil.

Favorite kitchen soundtrack? It depends on my mood but it varies from old school hip-hop to Bob Dylan to Bill Withers to the Black Eyed Peas.


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-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Scott Conant. Credit: Scarpetta.

Updated at 9:50 AM April 30, 2012. A previous version of this post stated that Conant was a judge on "Top Chef." To clarify, he has been a guest judge on "Top Chef" and is a regular judge on "Chopped."